Working Past Retirement Age? Why Not?

resident paintingResearch into the health effects of continuing to work past the typical retirement age is growing, and there is evidence linking working longer to longevity. Although the national, work-after-65 trend is largely linked to financial pressures, there are important social and emotional benefits for seniors who work at least part-time, especially in fields that are not physically demanding.

Despite having the word ‘retirement’ in their name, Asbury’s retirement communities include plenty of residents who demonstrate this trend. Work is an important part of identity for many of us, particularly if we love what we do.

Putting skills to good use

Some Asbury residents are volunteer dynamos, creating new programs for or helping residents of the community they now call home, working with churches or community service organizations, or even organizing their own outreach efforts such as the Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative at Asbury Methodist Village. But many continue to run their businesses, work as consultants, or even start a new career.

Working for FEMA

David Winterle, 78, of Asbury Solomons in Solomons, Md., began working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after retiring from the military and local government. His retirement reads like a Top 10 list of national disasters, hardly the way most of us envision spending it. When not on assignment for FEMA, David spends time fishing and relaxing, but when asked when he will retire, his answer is “[W]hen I can’t do it anymore.”

A new twist on career

George Stosur, 80, is a resident of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, Md. A former employee of the U.S. Department of Energy and Distinguished Lecturer of his engineering society, George turned his talents into a part-time career lecturing on climate change and weather on cruise ships. It is interactions like these that continue to redefine how I view aging and look forward to the opportunities for enrichment and growth that our retirement years can bring.

Putting talents to new use

Retired health physicist Hal Gaut of Asbury Methodist Village took organizing to an entirely new level, digitizing more than 300 gigabytes of records, photos, and artifacts at Asbury Methodist Village. Hal has devoted years to this volunteer project, and is proud to play a role in preserving the nearly 100-year-old Gaithersburg retirement community’s history.

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